Adopting from Sudan
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Military regimes favoring Islamic-oriented governments have dominated national politics since independence from Anglo-Egyptian co rule in 1956. Sudan was embroiled in two prolonged civil wars during most of the remainder of the 20th century. These conflicts were rooted in northern economic, political, and social domination of largely non-Muslim, non-Arab southern Sudanese. The first civil war ended in 1972 but another broke out in 1983. Peace talks gained momentum in 2002-04 with the signing of several accords. To learn more please read About Sudan.
Hague Convention Information
Sudan is not party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). Intercountry adoptions of children from non-Hague countries are processed in accordance with 8 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 204.3 as it relates to orphans as defined under the Immigration and Nationality Act, Section 101(b)(1)(F).
Below is the limited adoption information that the Department has obtained from the adoption authority of Sudan. U.S. citizens interested in adopting children from Sudan should contact the adoption authority of Sudan to inquire about applicable laws and procedures. U.S. citizen prospective adoptive parents living in Sudan, who would like to adopt a child from the United States or from a third country should also contact Sudan’s adoption authority.
Caution:Prospective adoptive parents should be aware that not all children in orphanages or children’s homes are adoptable. In many countries, birth parents place their child(ren) temporarily in an orphanage or children’s home due to financial or other hardship, intending that the child return home when this becomes possible. In such cases, the birth parent(s) have rarely relinquished their parental rights or consented to their child(ren)’s adoption.
Adoption is not allowed for Muslim children but may be allowed for non-Muslim children, insofar as the religious laws of the child’s denomination allow. A child whose religion is unknown is automatically considered to be Muslim. Sudanese law also allows for a court appointed “caretaker” (similar to a legal guardian in the United States) to oversee the welfare and upbringing of a child until he or she reaches the age of legal majority (21 years of age). To qualify as a caretaker or adoptive parent, the applicant must be between 30 and 50 years of age, with a good reputation and behavior. Unmarried men are not eligible, while unmarried women may be eligible with the authorization of their father. Children over 14 years of age may not be placed in the custody of a caretaker or adoptive parent. In the case of Muslim children, the caretaker must be both Muslim and Sudanese or from Sudanese background. In addition to contacting the adoption authority regarding applicable laws and procedures, prospective adoptive parents may wish to, but are not required to, consult with a local attorney prior to taking any action. The U.S. Embassy in Khartoum maintains a list of lawyers for the convenience of U.S. citizens seeking local legal advisers. This list does not imply a recommendation or endorsement of specific attorneys by the Embassy.
Please visit the Department of State’s Country Specific Information for more information on travelling to Sudan and the U.S. Embassy Khartoum’s website for information on consular services.
The government office responsible for adoptions in Sudan is the Social Services Supervisor of the Governorate for the Province where the adopted child resides. There is no central, national authority.